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Hunter328
(@hunter328)
Active Member
PETG Printing on Smooth Sheet Help

Hello all,

My next print will be my first ever using anything but the PLA that shipped with my I3MK3S kit.

I'm going to using PETG that's made by Overture.  I'm confused though about the best method for printing PETG on the smooth PEI sheet.

Using Windex as a separator has been the advice I've come across most often, but at least half as often I've come across people saying using Windex will ruin the smooth sheet.

I've read that glue sticks work from a lot of people, but a large portion of those have attached comments from people saying don't use glue, use Windex (to which others reply: Windex will ruin your smooth sheet.)

Things seem to even have changed here on Prusa's own filament guide.  I thought when I first bought my printer that I'd read here to use glue.  Then I saw Windex.  Now I see it says to go with the Satin sheet just to be sure (Is the Satin Sheet new? I ask because Prusa's guide and chart recommends the Satin sheet over the others for the majority of filament types, while many filament type descriptions and sheet recommendations seem different than they were, with some filaments seemingly to have all of a sudden become hard to print on either the smooth or textured sheet).

The smooth is all I have at the moment.

If Windex is the correct way, could soomeone please explain the process of using it?  All I've ever seen is just, "Use Windex."  I'm not sure if I just clean the sheet with Windex prior to printing, or spay a layer of Windex on the sheet and print on top of it while it's still wet, or spray it and let it dry on the sheet.  It could be something else altogether

The Overture filament came with a textured sheet of it's own, but it's smaller than the build plate and isn't magnetic.  I'm reluctant to use the adhesive side and stick it on my smooth sheet as that likely would ruin it.

 

Any help clearing up all of the contradicting advice I've read thus far will be greatly appreciated.  I'm so looking forward to getting started on a new print.

Thank you and have a wonderful day!

Posted : 04/05/2021 5:15 pm
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(@)
Illustrious Member
RE: PETG Printing on Smooth Sheet Help

USE A RELEASE AGENT. Either wipe the gluestick around on the surface (and leave it), or spritz on some Windex - lots, spread it around with a paint brush, but LEAVE IT WET and let it fully dry so it leaves a grey soap film. 

If you fail to do this, the PETG will stick so well you can't remove it from the PEI.  You have been warned.

Try a SMALL test print, 1 cm by 1 cm. And print it in an area you don't mind ruining if your release agent application goes wrong.

ps: not all PETG sticks this well, so your experience may vary: but since some PETG does stick better than superglue, it is always best to test.

This post was modified 6 months ago by --
Posted : 04/05/2021 5:23 pm
Hunter328
(@hunter328)
Active Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: PETG Printing on Smooth Sheet Help

@tim-2

Thank you, Tim. 

It's funny, I just checked my Reddit where I asked a guy the same question because I'd read a post of his from a year ago on something similar.  He just got back to me, maybe a minute ago before reading this, and his advice was, "I've been printing now for over a year and you don't need anything, no glue ,no windex, nothing.  Just make sure the bed is heated between 70-75 degrees and nozzle temp is 230."

 

I do appreciate your help and will probably go with your suggestion at least at first, as it sounds like at worst doing that I'm being overly cautious, whereas the other could lead to a damaged sheet.  

I guess it just goes to show that even with the same printer and filament people have drastically different results.

Thanks again!

Posted : 04/05/2021 5:41 pm
egar
 egar
(@egar)
Estimable Member
RE: PETG Printing on Smooth Sheet Help
Posted by: @hunter328

I guess it just goes to show that even with the same printer and filament people have drastically different results.

I will second that statement.  I've been part of several threads where people were getting different results from printing PETG on smooth PEI. For me a quick spray of Windex and a wipe with a paper towel works great.  Others using the same methods have had their smooth PEI sheet tear.  There's likely several variables involved that are going beyond what release agent and filament brand is being used.

I like @Tim's suggestion of starting small and sneaking up on it.  Though in my experience, larger PETG prints often release easier than small, when bending the PEI plate.

Posted : 04/05/2021 5:47 pm
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(@)
Illustrious Member
RE: PETG Printing on Smooth Sheet Help

lol - yeah - that's funny. That guy is showing his true colors and is NOT your friend.  You can search this forum for all the photos of destroyed smooth PEI sheets from guys trying to remove PETG parts they printed without release agents. I've struggled with some even after using Windwz, so now I use copious amounts of fingerprints with Windex (yes, vigorous hand rubs all over the print area then windex) -- or just a good coat of gluestick. 

Again - some brands (like Amazon PETG) don't stick as well as Prusament PETG. But since there isn't a comprehensive list of the easy to remove brands, best to be overcautious.

Posted : 04/05/2021 5:48 pm
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(@)
Illustrious Member
RE: PETG Printing on Smooth Sheet Help
Posted by: @egar
.... For me a quick spray of Windex and a wipe with a paper towel works great.  ...
And the most important part is the wipe action is to spread the Windex around, not to soak it up.  So I recommend a paint brush so as to not confuse folk. And yes, people follow the "wipe" part as "scrub until dry" as if cleaning the sheet with Windex.
 
Posted : 04/05/2021 5:52 pm
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(@)
Illustrious Member
RE: PETG Printing on Smooth Sheet Help

https://forum.prusaprinters.org/forum/original-prusa-i3-mk3s-mk3-print-tips-archive/buildplate-damaged-by-petg/#post-184513

or

This post was modified 6 months ago by --
Posted : 04/05/2021 5:54 pm
fuchsr
(@fuchsr)
Noble Member
RE: PETG Printing on Smooth Sheet Help

I'm in the Windex camp -- learned it the hard way. But if you're hearing conflicting recommendations, I'd go with the safe one. Windex won't hurt but no Windex may be painful.  Not sure why anyone might say Windex may ruin the PEI.

Posted : 04/05/2021 6:12 pm
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(@)
Illustrious Member
RE: PETG Printing on Smooth Sheet Help

Ammonia and PEI ... I suspect it's sort of like acetone and PEI: once in a while won't do much harm, and Windex doesn't really have much ammonia in it, either.

However, if I read this chart right, PEI is not resistant to ammonia.

https://www.gehrplastics.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/GEHR-PEI-chemical-resistance.pdf

 

Posted : 04/05/2021 7:29 pm
Neophyl
(@neophyl)
Famed Member
RE: PETG Printing on Smooth Sheet Help

Funnily enough I too have a small hole similar to Tim’s picture from my first use of petg on the smooth sheet. You only make that mistake once. Luckily the sheets have 2 sides. I’ve been printing pla on the other side for 3 years now and petg on the damaged side. 

Posted : 04/05/2021 7:51 pm
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bobstro
(@bobstro)
Illustrious Member
RE: PETG Printing on Smooth Sheet Help

Temperatures figure into it a lot. I've printed with lots of PETG on the smooth sheet. A spritz Windex is sufficient to loosen its grip for typical prints at 230-240C. I learned a hard lesson when trying some 3DXTech at 270C. Gluestick or a release agent like MagiGoo or Vision Miner's Nano Polymer is good for the higher temps. The suggestion to dedicate a separate sheet for PLA and another for PETG is also good and reduces frustration. A dinged-up sheet is good for test prints with new materials.

I've never read about Windex damaging smooth PEI before, and cleaning PEI with acetone is a common recommendation and one Prusa themselves used to make. With the disappointing results of the textured PEI, they seem to be playing CYA by only recommending isopropyl alcohol for all sheets now, even suggesting that anything else is damaging. Which is silly considering there's no warranty on any of their surfaces.  

My notes and disclaimers on 3D printing and miscellaneous other tech projects
He is intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two dimensional thinking. -- Spock in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan...
Posted : 04/05/2021 8:07 pm
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(@)
Illustrious Member
RE: PETG Printing on Smooth Sheet Help

As a foot note, I've damaged a smooth PEI sheet cleaning with acetone. The chemical softens the plastic enough that scrubbing with a plain paper towel abraded the surface as if I was using sandpaper. So there is a point where too much acetone is bad - and I no longer dawdle between pouring out a puddle and wiping it around to clean. 

Posted : 04/05/2021 8:23 pm
bobstro
(@bobstro)
Illustrious Member
RE: PETG Printing on Smooth Sheet Help

Interesting. I did some searching around on the effects of different solvents on PEI and they indicated that acetone was an issue with immersion for more than 24 hours. I have definitely seen cases where it can cause the PEI to become brittle with over-use. It's just not something to fear. If you need to get a lot of crud off, it works well. Apparently works better for removing oxidation as well. I've had filament shadows from printing too low and acetone got it off with less damage than scrubbing or scraping.

My notes and disclaimers on 3D printing and miscellaneous other tech projects
He is intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two dimensional thinking. -- Spock in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan...
Posted : 04/05/2021 8:27 pm
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(@)
Illustrious Member
RE: PETG Printing on Smooth Sheet Help

Damage is relative. When you want a mirror surface when using the smooth sheet, scratches of any type is "damage." I should have said 600 grit sandpaper. I still print on the sheet, it is fully usable, but the surface quality is no longer factory.

Posted : 04/05/2021 8:36 pm
Swiss_Cheese
(@swiss_cheese)
Noble Member
RE: PETG Printing on Smooth Sheet Help

Windex on smooth PEI gets my vote for PETG.

The Filament Whisperer...
Posted : 05/05/2021 4:35 am
Hunter328
(@hunter328)
Active Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: PETG Printing on Smooth Sheet Help

Thank you to everyone who replied!  This has certainly helped me out.  I’m definitely going with Windex when I start printing in PETG.

One last question, do people go with Windex over the glue stick (which was included) because it’s easier and cleaner, or is glue just for ABS and maybe other stuff?

Posted : 05/05/2021 2:49 pm
egar
 egar
(@egar)
Estimable Member
RE: PETG Printing on Smooth Sheet Help

I use Windex because is it easy and cheap.  Plus it does not affect leave any reside on the printed part, nor any visible artifacts in the print as does glue.  Personally, I only use glue sticks for ASA/ABS. 

Posted : 05/05/2021 2:58 pm
fuchsr
(@fuchsr)
Noble Member
RE: PETG Printing on Smooth Sheet Help

No glue stick. I only use it for PC Blend. 

Posted : 05/05/2021 3:10 pm
Swiss_Cheese
(@swiss_cheese)
Noble Member
RE: PETG Printing on Smooth Sheet Help

I also only use glue stick for ASA,PC,Nylon and ABS,ect.,, for the reasons Egar stated, but you can use glue stick for PETG, however Windex provides a better experience.

Not to make this to convoluted for you, but you can also use talcum powder (old school) and even oils from your skin will work.

The Filament Whisperer...
Posted : 05/05/2021 11:44 pm
Diem
 Diem
(@diem)
Noble Member
RE: PETG Printing on Smooth Sheet Help
Posted by: @egar

I use Windex because is it easy and cheap.  Plus it does not affect leave any reside on the printed part, nor any visible artifacts in the print as does glue.  Personally, I only use glue sticks for ASA/ABS. 

If you're getting visible artifacts then you're using too much gluestick.

Wet a paper towel, draw a line of glue on the plate then use the wet tissue to spread it thinly.  Rewet the tisssue if it doesn't spread evenly.

Cheerio,

Posted : 06/05/2021 1:37 am
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